Books 2.2 on Catalina 10.5.2

There appears to be no more 'show in finder' option! How do I know where my books actually are on my hard drive?


Turns out that Books on Catalina is a disaster. It moves all of your data from wherever you had it in iTunes (in my case an external drive) and puts it onto your internal drive. There is no interface to change the location (you can do it with a symbolic link created in terminal I believe).

mv ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService/Data/Documents/iBooks/Books/ /Volumes/SomeDrive/Books
ln -s /Volumes/SomeDrive/Books ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService/Data/Documents/iBooks/Books/

I have a new November 2019 MacBookPro, so I can't download to Mojave.

For more reading and complaining check the following link:


  • 1
    This is literally driving me nuts. I can see none of my books under ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService/Data/Documents/iBooks/Books/, all books that I manually added by dragging and dropping them onto the books GUI and somehow now they are only in iCloud but I have no access to the files anymore. Insane
    – JohnIdol
    Feb 10 at 23:03


Talking from Mojave, but searching EPUBs from Finder or say EasyFind can reveal them.

  • It seems that Catalina has moved all my books here when they used to be on my external drive which houses my itunes! How do I move my books off my internal drive?
    – phil
    Dec 18 '19 at 8:09

I post this as a warning to everyone: if you add a symbolic link to your Audiobooks folder, there is the potential for massive, silent data loss.

Learn from my suffering:

I came to the same solution as Phil did on my own. On macOS 10.15.7, I had some .m4a files stored in the Music folder. I removed them from the Music.app interface and kept the files. In the Finder, I changed all of the extensions of those files to .m4b and dropped them into the Automatically Add folder. I forgot that I didn't have the correct drive (where my Audiobooks are stored) plugged in. Music.app tried to add those files to the Audiobooks folder, and when it couldn't find the drive, it silently deleted most (not all) of the files instead of putting them into the Not Added folder.

As far as I can tell, the files were not moved to a temporary location (/tmp, somewhere within the labyrinthine Books folder location, etc). They aren't in any other folder that I can find. I've used EasyFind to search the entire drive, including invisible files and packages, for anything with ".m4b" in the name. Nothing. They're just gone.

I'm so angry that I'm calm. The sheer idiocy of coding the app not only to silently fail but also to "move" those files into the ether rather than simply set them aside if the symbolic link fails is just beyond me.

Anyway, if you set up an alias, do not ever, ever, ever open Books or Music (as the latter apparently can't be trusted either) without having the media drive attached. Apple apparently can't code anymore.

  • Even weirder. I have three login accounts for different purposes. All three use the same Apple ID, and I had all three Books libraries pointing to the same directory, with iCloud enable. Yet, somehow, I would see a different set of books on each account.
    – WGroleau
    Jan 14 at 2:37

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